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3 At Daniel's feet the lions lay
Like harmless lambs, nor touch'd their prey;*
And ravens, which on carrion fed,
Procur'd Elijah flesh and bread.
4 Thus creatures only can fulfil
Their great Creator's holy will;
And when his servants need their aid,
His purposes must be obey'd.
5 So if his blessing he refuse,
Their pow'r to help they quickly lose;
Sure as on creatures we depend,
Our hopes in disappointment end.
6 Then let us trust the Lord alone,
And creature-confidence disown;
Nor if they threaten need we fear,
They cannot hurt if he be near.
7 If instruments of pain they prove,
Still they are guided by his love;
As lancets by the surgeon's skill,
Which wound to cure, and not to kill.
XCVIII. On Dreaming.
1 WHEN slumber seals our weary eyes,
The busy fancy wakeful keeps ;
The scenes which then before us rise,
Prove something in us never sleeps.
2 As in another world we seem,
A new creation of our own,
All appears real, though a dream,
And all familiar, though unknown.
* Daniel, vi. 23.
3 Sometimes the mind beholds again
The past day's business in review,
Resumes the pleasure or the pain;
And sometimes all we meet is new.
5 But though our dreams are often wild,
Like clouds before the driving storm;
Yet some important may be styl'd,
Sent to admonish or inform.
4 What schemes we form, what pains we take!
We fight, we run, we fly, we fall;
But all is ended when we wake,
We scarcely then a trace recall.
7 One thing, at least, and 'tis enough,
We learn from this surprising fact;
Our dreams afford sufficient proof,
The soul, without the flesh, can act.
6 What mighty agents have access,
What friends from heav'n, or foes from hell,
Our minds to comfort or distress,
When we are sleeping, who can tell ?
8 This life, which mortals so esteem,
That many choose it for their all,
They will confess, was but a dream,*
When 'waken'd by death's awful call.
1 SEE, the world for youth prepares,
Harlot-like, her gaudy snares!
Pleasures round her seem to wait,
But 'tis all a painted cheat.
* Isaiah, xxix. 8.
2 Rash and unsuspecting youth
Thinks to find thee always smooth,
Always kind, till better taught,
By experience dearly bought.
3 So the calm, but faithless sea
(Lively emblem, world, of thee) Tempts the shepherd from the shore, Foreign regions to explore.
4 While no wrinkled wave is seen,
While the sky remains serene,
Fill'd with hopes, and golden schemes,
Of a storm he little dreams.
5 But ere long the tempest raves,
Then he trembles at the waves;
Wishes then he had been wise,
But too late-he sinks and dies.
6 Hapless thus, are they, vain world,
Soon on rocks of ruin hurl'd,
Who admiring thee, untry'd,
Court thy pleasure, wealth, or pride.
7 Such a shipwreck had been mine,
Had not Jesus (name divine!)
Sav'd me with a mighty hand,
And restor❜d my soul to land.
8 Now, with gratitude I raise
Ebenezers to his praise;
Now my rash pursuits are o'er,
I can trust thee, world, no more,
C. The Enchantment dissolved.
1 BLINDED in youth by Satan's arts, The world to our unpractis'd hearts
A flatt'ring prospect shows;
Our fancy forms a thousand schemes
Of gay delights, and golden dreams,
And undisturb'd repose.
2 So in the desert's dreary waste,
By magic pow'r produc'd in haste
(As ancient fables say),
Castles, and groves, and music sweet,
The senses of the trav'ller meet,
And stop him in his way.
3 But while he listens with surprise, The charm dissolves, the vision dies, 'Twas but enchanted ground: Thus if the Lord our spirit touch The world, which promis'd us so much, A wilderness is found.
4 At first we start, and feel distress'd,
Convinc'd we never can have rest
In such a wretched place;
But he whose mercy breaks the charm,
Reveals his own Almighty arm,
And bids us seek his face.
5 Then we begin to live indeed,
When from our sin and bondage freed
By this beloved Friend;
We follow him from day to day,
Assur'd of grace through all the way,
And glory at the end.
ON THE RISE, PROGRESS, CHANGES, AND COMFORTS OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE;
Under the following Heads:
I. SOLEMN ADDRESSES TO SINNERS. VII. PRAISE.